By Webster Parish Journal Staff
Congressman Mike Johnson a Republican member of Congress proudly serving Louisiana’s Fourth District, is the GOP’s newest Speaker of the House. By noon Wednesday Johnson had become speaker-elect with 220 votes to Democrat Hakeem Jeffries’ 209. Johnson took the oath of office shortly after.
Johnson, whose wife Kelly is from Webster Parish, represents the nearly 760,000 residents of 16 parishes in the northwest and western regions of the state. Mike was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on December 10, 2016, by the largest margin of victory in his region in more than 50 years and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress.
“The first bill that I’ll bring to this floor in just a little while will be in support of our dear friend Israel,” Johnson said during his first remarks after being elected House Speaker. “We’re overdue in getting that done.”
District E Minden City Councilman Andy Pendergrass said he is “thrilled” with the Republican choice.
“This not only returns a measure of stability to the United States Congress, but it is also a proud moment in national history for the State of Louisiana and specifically, Northwest Louisiana,” Pendergrass said. “I certainly believe that pine tree and red dirt wisdom is just what the doctor ordered for Washington D.C.”
Pendergrass described Johnson as a true patriot who will serve the nation well in this leadership role.
“The Rich Men North of Richmond have gone down the wrong path for too long,” he said. “My prayer is that God’s hand would be ever present on Mike’s heart and mind as he faces difficult decisions and self-important people on a daily basis.
“I remember being in a group of several men standing in our cowboy boots on some red dirt underneath some pine trees, years before his political career, listening to Mike lead a devotional about integrity before we ate lunch,” Pendergrass continued. “It blows my mind that God knew back then, that one day that Christian southern gentleman would be the first ever Speaker of the House from the State of Louisiana.”
Pendergrass said he chooses to believe the tide is turning.
“Mike said in his acceptance speech, ‘let the enemies of freedom around the world hear this loud and clear, the People’s House is back in business.’ Look alive Northwest Louisiana, the Speaker of the House is our friend, our neighbor, and our brother in Christ Jesus. Godspeed Mr. Speaker.”
Minden Police Chief Jared McIver said Johnson was instrumental in helping his officers receive further training with Arizona/Mexico Border Patrol in June.
“Afterward, he (Johnson) came by the police department and talked with us for a long time about what our officers learned,” McIver said. “He was very helpful.”
With two decades of previous experience in Constitutional law, Mike serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and is the chairman of its Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. He also serves on the Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, and on the House Armed Services Committee. His district includes important military installations, including Barksdale Air Force Base, headquarters of the Air Force Global Strike Command, and Fort Johnson (formerly Fort Polk) and the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center, as well as the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden Training Site and other assets.
Johnson is a dedicated husband and father of four and an attorney who has devoted his life and career to fighting for the fundamental freedoms and traditional values that have always been a priority to the people of Louisiana. He spent nearly 20 years successfully litigating high profile constitutional law cases in district and appellate courts nationwide and is widely recognized as a leading defender of the right to life, religious liberty, free speech, the Second Amendment and free market principles. In his law practice, he drafted landmark legislation for many states and municipalities and provided legal counsel to members of Congress, governors, state legislatures, city councils, school boards, law enforcement agencies, ministries and non-profit organizations around the country.
The eldest son of a Shreveport firefighter who was critically burned and disabled in the line of duty, Mike learned early on the values of hard work, honor and sacrifice. He has a practical understanding of the challenges that small business owners face because he, like his parents and grandparents, is one himself. Mike has also been a college professor, conservative talk radio host and columnist, a media spokesman for America’s largest religious liberty organizations, a constitutional law seminar instructor, and a board member for national organizations and numerous community groups and ministries.
Mike earned his Juris Doctorate from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 1998 where he was selected as a member of the Moot Court Board and National Moot Court Team and was elected class president and president of the Christian Legal Society. He earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in 1995, where he was selected to Leadership LSU and the Order of Omega Honor Society, Kappa Sigma Fraternity and served as president of the LSU Interfraternity Council.
Mike and Kelly, a former school teacher from Webster Parish and now a Licensed Pastoral Counselor, have been married since 1999 and have four children, Hannah, Abigail, Jack and Will. Today, they reside in Bossier Parish. Kelly (Lary) is from Sibley. Her family owns Hercules Service Parts LLC.